Wonderbitch, Knifight, Aviateur


Wonderbitch (Photo by Shelley Hiam)

Smoke machines, strobe lights, and guyliner on a darkened stage initially made Aviateur seem more concerned with image than music. Fortunately, the local quintet's tight blend of echo-laden Eighties Brit rock and Nineties alternative proved the group more than goth-tronic posers. Joined by Charlie Sexton scion Marlon on lead guitar, 19-year-old Hunter Sharpe circled the midpoint between slick alt-rock and shambolic abandon. Prominent synth licks colored every song during Knifight's ensuing set, particularly the tunes from latest album V. Keenly crafted and masterfully performed, their synth rock vision from group leader John Gable sounds tailor made for both 120 Minutes circa 1987 and 101X now. Drummer Nick Cogdill pushed the sextet into overload, bashing the disco back-beat in the night's most impressive wall of noise. Battling its terrible sobriquet, Wonderbitch let the faint scent of cheese waft over its complex but accessible songcraft. Like a prog act reincarnated as a yacht rock band, the quartet obscured its intent with onstage goofiness that never overpowered obvious melodic gifts and instrumental prowess. There's not another group in Austin that baffles and beguiles in such perfect harmony.

Wonderbitch, Knifight, Aviateur

North Door, Jan. 2

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Wonderbitch
Snapshot: Side Project Sundays at Kitty Cohen’s
Snapshot: Side Project Sundays at Kitty Cohen’s
Don't call it a sidepiece – these artists are pouring a lot of creativity and energy into their second and third bands

David Brendan Hall, April 27, 2018

More Knifight
Seven the Hard Way
Picks 2 Click: Local septet of acts braces for SXSW

Libby Webster, March 4, 2016

Texas Platters
V (Record Review)

Neph Basedow, Feb. 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Michael Toland
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
ATX Queer Music Fest, Ovey Fest, New Candys, Bryan Carter, and more local shows worth seeing

Aug. 5, 2022

Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Kate Bush Bash, Urban Heat, Knife in the Water, Night Cap, Adrian Ruiz, and Shimmer Island

July 29, 2022


Wonderbitch, Knifight, Aviateur

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle